AVIXA CEO outlines how AudioVisual experiences boost Fan Engagement

It is widely recognised that integrated technology solutions yield better outcomes in venue design and operation. We caught up with AVIXA Chief Executive Officer, David Labuskes, CTS™, CAE, RCDD, to learn more about this and their newly-formed partnership with the Association of Luxury Suite Directors (ALSD).


To begin with, what is AVIXA and who does it represent?

AVIXA is the leading global trade association and professional society representing the audiovisual (AV) industry. We represent everyone from the individual technology practitioner to all the companies in the AV solution supply chain, from manufacturers, to designers, to systems integrators, to the groups inside organisations that buy and use AV to accomplish their goals.


AVIXA, through its trade shows around the world, education and training, industry standards and certification, and other initiatives, is a hub for community and collaboration about the ways audiovisual technology can yield positive outcomes and exceptional customer experiences.


Why has AVIXA formed a partnership with the ALSD (Association of Luxury Suite Directors)?

As an industry association, we want to grow the market for AV experiences. And as technology experts and enthusiasts, we want more people to appreciate the promise of AV solutions for achieving their goals. We don’t claim to be the first to tell the ALSD community that AV, for example, is a growing trend in their spaces. But we do want to share our passion that professionally planned and executed AV systems can create the experiences that draw and engage fans, create customer loyalty, boost sales, or whatever outcome an organisation seeks to achieve.


The AV industry’s designers and integrators—creative professionals who listen to the unique needs of their customers—assemble the right combination of content, space, and technology to build an experience that meets their clients’ needs. We think joining together with ALSD and its members is the perfect way to raise awareness of the business benefits of AV solutions across a wide variety of venues.


How can audiovisual experiences help improve the fan experience?

In many ways, they already have. AVIXA is proud of its many member companies and innovators who’ve been on the cutting edge of the massive, high-definition displays and special audiovisual effects that have come to define today’s fan experience—the projected visuals on the floor of an arena, for example, and certainly all the live events and concerts, with their rich, pervasive sound and lights that have grown more awesome and entertaining. But now the AV experiences are coming off the floor, if you will. They’re pervading the lounges, the seating areas, the concession stands—even beyond the facility itself.


Today’s consumer has grown accustomed to an integrated, digital lifestyle enabled by audiovisual technology. The consumer—or fan—expects that experience wherever he or she goes. From instant replays on smartphones, to digital wayfinding throughout a stadium, to truly useful or engaging content delivered how they want it, wherever they are in the venue, audiovisual experiences are fast-becoming table stakes when engaging digital-native fans.


Detroit Pistons’ centre-hung scoreboard and skydeck


How do these audiovisual experiences benefit venue operators and teams?

One way is by giving their customers an added reason to see a game or attend an event. This is not all to do with technology, but when it does, AV pros should be integral to the design and planning to ensure the investment in technology yields the right experience. Audiovisual solutions can help redefine a venue and what it supports.


Live shows have long been featured attractions, but what about conferences and meetings, museum-quality tours with interactive exhibits, or other custom experiences for clients who might not immediately identify as “fans?” Because AV is digital, it’s easily changeable. Venues don’t need to completely rip and replace technology infrastructure to support a new customer.


What excites you about the future of AV technology in stadiums and venues? 

Along the lines of supporting new customers and business channels, we see gaming as an exciting market. Here’s a rapidly-growing opportunity that requires a good amount of AV that’s customizable, flexible, and high-quality. Gaming can and will take place in a variety of adaptable locations, but surely stadiums and venues should have the inside track on attracting this booming business.


We also find it intriguing that a stadium or venue seems no longer confined to that single structure; that areas around venues are also part of the fan experience. This is the integrated life that AVIXA is focused on: The audiovisual experience—as you move in, out, and around a venue—needs to be seamless. That’s a skill that AV professionals bring to the development and execution of modern stadiums.


How will members of the ALSD community engage with AVIXA and its members?

We look forward to meeting many of them throughout the coming year, including at ALSD International this October in London. There is also the Integrated Systems Europe trade show in Amsterdam and the TIDE conference, which stands for: Technology. Innovation. Design. Experience.


TIDE events are about human-centred design—perfectly applicable to the stadia community—and always includes a fascinating list of speakers and thought leaders. We are excited to bring our two communities together, and to facilitate new conversations about the power of AV to help reinvent stadiums and venues.


Wells Fargo: home to the Philadelphia Flyers


About AVIXA™

AVIXA™ is the producer of InfoComm trade shows around the world, co-owner of Integrated Systems Europe, and the international trade association representing the audiovisual industry. Established in 1939, AVIXA has more than 5,400 members, including manufacturers, systems integrators, dealers and distributors, consultants, programmers, rental and staging companies, technology managers, IT professionals, content producers, and multimedia professionals from more than 80 countries. AVIXA members create integrated AV experiences that deliver outcomes. AVIXA is a hub for professional collaboration, information, and community, and the leading resource for AV standards, certification, training, market intelligence and thought leadership.


For further information, visit: www.avixa.org


About ALSD

The Association of Luxury Suite Directors (ALSD) was established in 1990 to provide a single platform for our member teams and venues with accurate and timely information from across all layers of the premium seat industry. This network of suite directors and team/facility executives shares information and ideas to provide premium seat patrons with superior service, state-of-the-art amenities, and an overall exceptional experience.


For further information, go to: https://alsd.com/


About ALSD International

The ALSD and European Arenas Association (EAA) have teamed up to present Europe’s first Premium Seat show, ALSD International, together with Founding Sponsors AVIXA and The Parker Company, in addition to sponsors Elevate Sports Ventures, IHS Global, Levy Restaurants, LiveStyled, Spring and Waveworks.


The high-level, two-day conference, featuring an array of high-ranking industry expert speakers, with interactive panel sessions and workshops, will examine premium seating and how to increase revenue with new builds, renovations, service expansions and new F&B offerings.


The exhibition hall will showcase the latest technologies, solutions and services that are being employed to enhance the premium seat offering, from the likes of 3D Digital, Camatic Seating, Cedar Packaging, Ecoprod/Urimat, Fund Raiser Sports, IHS Global, Smart Buffet Ware, IronHide Seating Solutions and Verteda.


The Registration Fee of £699 (discounts are available for delegations) includes unrestricted access to all conference, workshop and panel sessions, the exhibition hall, a gift bag, entry to two networking receptions and two behind-the-scenes venue tours (including transport, drinks and canapés) – one confirmed tour being of The O2 London – plus breakfast and lunch at the event hotel, the Amba Marble Arch in Central London, on both days.


Through the venue tours and networking receptions, attendees will meet peers that can be invaluable to their organisation’s planning. In panel discussions and team presentations, they will also hear from who’s doing it right and how.


ALSD International is a conference about extending the fan experience and offering more opportunities, both inside and outside the venue walls.


For more information or to register, go to: https://alsdinternational.com


Images, courtesy: AVIXA


Main image (top): Atlanta Braves SunTrust Park at night


#ALSDInternational – Europe’s first Premium Seat event

#SportsVenueBusiness – keeping you in the know!

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